Eversholt Rail, one of the UK’s leading rolling stock owners, has today announced that it has joined the industry consortium that will develop, manufacture and market the Revolution VLR (very light rail) vehicle. The consortium, led by Transport Design International Ltd (TDI), includes WMG at the University of Warwick, Cummins and other companies from the automotive and rail sectors.
The Revolution VLR vehicle is ideally matched to the need for lightweight, energy-efficient system solutions to deliver affordable service growth and extension of the UK’s rail capacity. A bi-directional, 18-metre-long railcar, with seating for 56 passengers and standing room for a further 60, Revolution VLR will use lightweight materials and a modular structure to achieve a tare weight of less than one tonne per linear metre. This allows it to run on lightweight modular slab track. The vehicle will be self-propelled, achieving zero-emission launches from stations, with regenerative braking and optimised hybrid propulsion.
The consortium and programme will benefit from Eversholt Rail’s market knowledge and extensive experience in rolling stock through-life asset and project management, including the successful service introduction of many fleets of new trains.
Eversholt Rail’s participation in the programme will provide the company with direct access to key light rail technologies, many of which draw upon automotive and aerospace industry best practice.
Mary Kenny, Eversholt Rail CEO, said “Eversholt Rail has a strong record of innovation in the UK rolling stock industry through introducing new products, technologies and manufacturers to the market. Our investment in the Revolution VLR programme will extend this into the light rail sector and provide further opportunities for growth within the industry.”
Dr Nick Mallinson, WMG Programme Manager, said “WMG’s acknowledged expertise in the automotive sector covering lightweight structures, energy storage and powertrain is being applied into other transport sectors including rail. As a founding member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, WMG is driving innovative low carbon mobility solutions within the Government’s Industrial Strategy with financial support from Innovate UK and the Department for Transport. We look forward to helping make the UK a leader in very light rail manufacturing and operation.”
TDI Managing Director Martin Pemberton stated “The DfT, working through the RSSB, are investing over £3m in the project. We have been very active in promoting sustainable, lighter public transport solutions for many years now and it is gratifying to finally get recognition from government – especially in the light of a new initiative to try to revitalise some of the lines which were a casualty of the Beeching cuts.”